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Summary

After her first lackluster experience with intercourse, Clare Dunnaby swears off romantic entanglement for good. At 21, she remains unattached and content - pursuing the study of botany and geology with single-minded focus. She remains certain she has no need for the amorous attentions of the opposite sex...at least, until she enters her bedchamber to find a nude man waiting in her bed. 

Desperation has driven Edward Norton to accept an arrangement as a courtesan to Clare. Purchased as a surprise for her birthday, his mission seems cut and dry: seduce the outspoken bluestocking into bed with him and keep her happy for the duration of their one-month contract. If he can do that, he’ll earn enough money to set his failing shipping company right again.

But when a strong physical attractions evolves into something more, it becomes clear that 30 days will never be enough. When their time runs out, will they choose to build on the visceral connection born of a contract, or will pride and stubbornness keep them apart?

©2019 Victoria Vale (P)2019 Victoria Vale

What listeners say about Tempting the Bluestocking: A Gentleman Courtesans Novella

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brilliant as always they marry x

lovely little short read makes more sense now I have listened to this book xxx

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Really Enjoyable

Oh my goodness, what a fun book this is. Imagine if your aunty paid for an 'escort' for you for your 21st birthday and the first thing you know about it is when you find him lying naked in your bed!! That's what happens to the female lead in this book and her reaction was priceless!! His reaction to her reaction was equally fun! I loved this book because although there were some steamy hot moments there was a lovely story along with them. OK, so some of what the couple got up to made me wonder if it's something that would have actually happened in those days. But hey, if they had the 'equipment' then they must have known what to do with it'. I shall say no more about that, you can find out for yourself what I mean when you read or listen to the book. As for the narrator, all I can say is WOW. He is so good that I had to actually think twice about whether Darcy was a man or woman because he read both genders perfectly. He had so many characters to portray and each of them was noticeably different and very good. It is very rare that I can find a narrator that I am happy to give a 5-star review to and Darcy is one of them. A really great story with a really great narrator which I am more than happy to recommend.

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Short, steamy, and wonderfully unconventional

Tempting the Bluestocking, Gentleman Courtesans Book 0.5, by Victoria Vale is a sultry prequel novella to a devilishly decadent Regency romance series. Despite being a prequel this is the second book I've listened to in the Gentlemen Courtesans series, and I enjoyed it just as much as I did Portrait of a Lady. I knew I'd enjoy this audiobook because I like Vale's writing and Tempting the Bluestocking combines some of my favourite Regency tropes; a bookish bluestocking, a colourful Matriarch, and a rakish-but-principled gentleman who comes completely undone when he least expects it. Clare's Aunt Helene was a wonderfully unorthodox, eccentric elder, who delighted in leading her equally-unconventional niece astray at every opportunity, and the confident Clare made a refreshing change from the typical wallflower who usually fills the bluestocking role. Edward Norton was an endearing hero, who was only exploiting his natural charm to save the family business and better the circumstances of his siblings. The narrator, Darcey Stark, was as good here as he was when reading Vale's other books. His performance was sultry and engaging in both the male and female roles, and he is very listenable. Overall this was a fun, saucy, passionate Regency romance and I wish it had been a full-length story rather than a novella. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, and to other audiobooks by Victoria Vale. *I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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  • Karen
  • 15-10-19

Looking for a Gentleman Courtesan

Having read several of Victoria Vale’s books this is my first “listen” to one. Darcy Stark is an amazing narrator, his voice brings the words into a most wonderful story. Having to rescue his siblings and the family business Edward Norton needs to find a way to get out of the financial bind he has been left. A friend introduces Edward to the group of Gentlemen Courtesans. Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is but the Courtesans are men! Edward is “purchased” for Clare as a birthday gift from her aunt (why didn’t I have an aunt like that?) Through their story they learn a number of things...could one of those things be love? You have to listen to this! I was gift with a copy of this audiobook for reviewing and the review consists of my own thoughts and words.

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  • Listener
  • 27-02-20

What a great story

Victoria Vale has done it again, and Darcy Stark is great at narration. When I first thought of these books, A Gentleman Cortesan's book, I really didn't think I would be interested. I AM SO GLAD I DIDN'T LISTEN TO MYSELF!! The was a great twist to the story. Edward and his friends decide to open a Gentlemans Cortesan's Club to bring a service to woman who may be looking for companionship.. Edward owns a failing shipping company, and feels this is his last resort to make money to restore his business... Edward is “purchased” for Clare by her aunt. Clare's aunt feels that she should get her nose out of a book and experience the pleasures of being with a man.. so she hires Edward for Clare's birthday.. Unbeknownst to Clare of course. Clare has agreed to give Edward one month, since it's already been paid for, but she doesn't have high hopes..... There is great chemistry between Clare and Edward, and its such a good story. Like I said, I really enjoyed this story.. and wasn't what I thought it might be. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Drifter
  • 15-02-20

Sexy, sassy, and fun!

I asked to receive this free review Audible book and wrote unbiased review. What an absolutely fun and sexy audible book! Victoria Vale has written a must listen to story. She has brought together via a fun eccentric aunt, Clare and Edward. Clare after a lackluster sexual experience has found more fun with botany and geology. Edward has decided to become a courtesan in order to make enough money to save the family shipping business. Sparks explode when they get together and the sex scenes are intense and wonderful. Will they be able to give their hearts to each other? The narrator is fabulous and makes the sex scenes even sexier. He does well with the male and female voices. He is a delight to listen to as he brings the listener right into the story. I highly recommend this Audible book. You will not want the story to end.

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  • Romance junkie
  • 26-10-19

A Woman’s Birthday Present From Her Aunt..A Man!

Edward is in financial trouble trying to support his siblings and save the family business that his father ran into the ground. His friend suggests he join him in being a Courtesan and have a keeper (woman) to help him gain his feet financially. Clara’s aunt decides her intellectual niece needs to have a satisfying sexual encounter or two or more and buys her Edwardo for a month. They find something in each other they never expected. Fun, sweet and sexy...perfectly done by the outstanding Darcy Stark A keeper! I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Nicole
  • 25-10-19

a new favorite narrator

I had previously read this book before listening to it, but I must say Darcy Stark is a fabulous narrator and definitely adds that something extra to the story. I had never listened to him before but I will be seeking out books he's narrated now. After his father's lack of business acumen leaves a still-grieving Edward Norton with a mountain of debt, a failing shipping company, and two younger siblings to support, he is desperate. When his friend introduces him to a secret group of gentlemen courtesans, Edward agrees to join them, knowing it's his only viable option now and is hired as a birthday present for a lively bluestocking. He must keep her happy for just one month, then he'll have enough to start making his company viable again. Heiress Clare Dunnaby has had one lackluster experience with a man and doesn't see what all the fuss is about. She's content with her study of geology and botany. But her Aunt Helene knows better and so she arranges for the most extravagant of birthday presents she's yet to give Clare. The connection between Clare and Edward is immediate and soon becomes more than either expected and they both find that thirty days will never be sufficient for them, but pride could be enough to keep them apart for good when their initial connection was born of a business contract. This was a great novella. It had plenty of steam and the characters were enjoyable and charming. A great introduction for this series. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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  • Blondie
  • 23-10-19

Tempting the Bluestocking

I listened to A Portrait of a Lady first but I don't feel like it hurt the story. I enjoyed both. Edward became a courtesan to save the family business he inherited from his father and to take care of his siblings. Clare's Aunty purchases Edward's services for her for her birthday 😊 (oh how I adored the Aunty's eccentricity) anyway this is their story and it's great. This was a fun short story, fun and easy to follow and listen to. The narrator did a good job.

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  • cheryl
  • 21-10-19

An entertaining story.

Clare and Edward were such engaging characters. Edward was desperately trying to solve his family’s problems, due to his father’s lack of business sense. A family he cares for deeply. Clare, lives with her unconventional Aunt Helene and has numerous hobbies. She takes no interest in balls and soirées. When Clare and Edward get over their initial meeting, they enjoy each other’s company. Edward is able to adjust to Clare’s way of thinking. All does not run smoothly. I enjoyed hearing about Hugh from the first book. This was a delightful story. It was narrated very well by Darcy Stark, different voices were used to bring the characters and situations to life.

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  • Erin S
  • 21-10-19

Heart and heat

An unexpectedly different storyline and take than the typical regency romance. I enjoyed the strong female characters and way the relationship developed between Clare and Edward. Hot sex scenes as well. Darcy Stark did a marvelous job with the narrations, bringing Victoria Vale’s story to life. An enjoyable listen all around. I received a promotional copy of this audiobook and this is my honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Laura
  • 20-05-20

Vicki Vale + Darcy, back at it for Audible!

Nice to get to know who Benedict was 'cussing out' in Portrait of a Lady. S/N on Benny: To be honest, Benedict is a pimp - literally, surprised there was no punching courtesans out (pugilistic style) when they marry their keepers...😅 and that the contract didn't have a clause for keeping the check should keepers go off with his merchandise...ijs... I liked this novella. Ed is sexy, CeCe is a sexy nerd, the chemistry was there-- all around cute, fast-paced love story on how sometimes: 1. You can't over think things. 2. Experiments and science can be interesting. 3. Good friends are worth their weight in gold. 4. Its OK to subscribe to a trial 👀 With this being said, enjoy the quick read, it'll get you through the workday! 💋

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  • Becky
  • 07-12-19

a very enjoyable listen

Another enjoyable listen by Victoria Vale. The three main characters were very interesting and unconventional. It was a very enjoyable listen. What an interesting series! The narrator is great! I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.